Lobby for better Rabbit Care - Sales of Pet Rabbits

Bracknell Rabbit Rescue would like you to support us in lobbing the government over the sale of rabbits in petshops by writing a letter to your MP. We have two proposals we would like you to bring to your MP's attention:

  • An amnesty period of one year during which petshops are not allowed to sell rabbits, to give the rescue centres a chance to catch up with the backlog of unwanted rabbits.
  • If pet shops are to continue to be allowed to sell rabbits, they should be required by law to provide proper fact and care sheets, this should be enforced.

You can find out who your MP is by entering your postcode into www.locata.co.uk/commons/, you can fax your MP for free via www.faxyourmp.com.

Tips on writing your letter

  • Include you address and contact details
  • Start you letter by telling your MP who you are and where your from.
  • Tell them about the proposals
  • Give some background as to why you think the proposals are needed
  • Thank your MP for taking the time to listen and tell them how they can contact you with a response

Points you may like to include:

  • Many rescue centres are quoting a period of months before they can take in any more unwanted rabbits
  • Petshop's allow prospective owners to buy on impulse with out providing any/accurate information of cost/care
  • The majority of rabbit hutches sold in pet shops are not suitable for keeping rabbits. A single rabbit needs a minimum of 6ft long x 2ft deep by 2ft high, and access to a run for exercise.
  • Neutering a rabbit costs around the same as a cat and is necessary to prevent unwanted litters, aggression and uterine cancer

Example Letter

Please don't just copy this letter, your letter should include your own experiences and views.


Sales of Pet Rabbits.


I wish to bring a matter to your attention which although may not be anywhere near the height of any political agenda is nevertheless of importance to those who (in most cases unpaid) take on the responsibility of dealing with the results of ignorance and in some instances intentional cruelty. It is our hope the more people become aware of this the greater the chance a positive action may be taken to alleviate suffering in these animals.

The rabbit and small animal rescue centres within the United Kingdom are struggling to cope with the quantities of unwanted pet rabbits currently owned. Many centres are quoting a period of months before they can take in any more unwanted rabbits and yet the pet shops continue to sell them and the breeders continue to breed them.

We are proposing an amnesty period of one year to give the centres a chance to catch up with this backlog without the pet shops being allowed to sell more.

Many rescue centres have “permanent” residents who are either very difficult to re-home or who require constant veterinary attention either due to bad teeth (a common affliction in rabbits largely caused by in-breeding) or other ailments. Most of these rescue centres are run by people with no funding at all other than donations by animal lovers.

Pet shops often sell rabbits without making the new owners reasonably aware of the costs involved in properly caring for their new pets. A rabbit spay or castration costs around the same as a cat’s which can be quite a shock to many owners and leads many owners not to bother. In addition to preventing unwanted pregnancies the operations do vastly reduce any fighting between rabbits thus leading to fewer injuries. Also, owners are not aware that neutering of females can greatly reduce the risk of uterine cancer in does. They are not informed of the fact that a rabbit can live for up to 10 years, which is a great commitment. It is additionally a sad fact rabbits are brought into centres with horrific untreated injuries because the owners do not want to pay for their treatment which has, in effect, been caused by their ignorance.

Rabbit hutches sold in pet shops are not suitable for keeping rabbits. A single rabbit needs a minimum of 6ft long x 2ft deep by 2ft high, and access to a run for exercise . Rabbits are intelligent creatures and need toys and company, or they get bored.

Unfortunately even today, most peoples image of keeping a rabbit is to put it in a hutch at the bottom of the garden and feed and water it, and if its lucky, to clean it out once a week. This ignorance in this day and age is totally unacceptable.

If pet shops are to continue to be allowed to sell rabbits, they should be required by law to provide proper fact and care sheets, and prospective owners not be allowed to buy on impulse.

Rabbits do NOT make good pets for children, they require the same attention to their needs as a dog or cat.

Please help us to make 2004 the year that rabbits are no longer classed as second class pets.

Poster for Petshops - Why We Don't Sell Rabbits

This poster is designed for petshops that support rescue centres by not contributing to the over population of pet rabbits.

Poster PDF File(18Kb)
Poster Word Document(97Kb)

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